New Zealand is an island state in Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean. It occupies two large islands: the South Island and the North Island. The nearest neighboring countries are New Caledonia, Tonga, Australia, and Fiji. The capital city is Wellington.
The climate in New Zealand is sub-tropical and temperate. The average temperature on the south is +10°C and on the north is +16°C. The period from November to March is summer in New Zealand. This time is ideal for excursions, surfing, and beach holidays. Winter in the country lasts from June to October. Divers can come to New Zealand at any time of the year but the water temperature will be different.
Th indigenous people of New Zealand are Maori, but they make up only 10% of the population. The rest are the English-speaking New Zealanders. About the third of the population are the atheists and all the rest follow the Christianity. The official languages are Maori, New Zealand Sign Language and English.
New Zealand can offer unusual beach holidays. The most extraordinary beach on the South Island is Hot Water Beach near Auckland. On the Hot Water Beach, there are hot springs in just several meters away from the coast. In Wellington and Auckland, there are places offering a panoramic view on the New Zealand fantastic nature. Ideal places for surfing are the Christchurch district and Dunedin. The water is cold here so the surfers wear a special suit.
The city of Queenstown is a true paradise for the fans of extreme sports. If you want to get and adrenaline rush, come here for bungee jumping, rafting in the subterranean rivers, parachuting, and kayaking.
The climbers will be delighted by the steep slope of the highest mountain in the country the Cook Mountain. After the screen version of the Lord of the Rings, crowds of people headed to New Zealand. The fans of Tolkien want to see with their own eyes the place from where a hobbit Frodo made his way to save the world. The local travel agencies quickly caught this trend and made the hiking routes through volcanic mountains and Queenstown fjords.
The tourists will have to take a transit flight to get to New Zealand. There are flights with only one stop from the airports in Bangkok, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong to Auckland.
The airport in Christchurch normally accepts regional and international flights.
Be aware that if you take a flight from New Zealand airports, you will be charged with a tax.
CIS and EU citizens must obtain a visa beforehand to travel to New Zealand. A normal time for processing the documents for a visa at the Embassy is 10 days. One can submit the documents personally, through a trusted person or send the documents by post.
If in an entry visa there is such mark as Outward Passage Waived or Funds Waived, you do not have to confirm your financial sufficiency or provide return tickets.
A group New Zealand visa can be issued (for up to 14 people) provided that all the people come to the country with the same purpose.
The Customs, sanitary and vet control in New Zealand is rather strict. Security checks are carried out with dogs and with the help of electronic detectors. The Customs officers can ask the tourists to provide traveler’s checks and credit cards.
Adult tourists can bring in duty-free alcohol, cigarettes, and perfume for personal use. The total cost of all personal belongings must not exceed 700 NZD.
It is prohibited to import foods, plants and animals (including soil and bee products). The tourists are not allowed to import ivory products, things made of turtle shell and rhinoceros horns. It is prohibited to bring in medications without a doctor’s prescription.
Pets can be brought in in New Zealand after a 6 months quarantine in the countries where pet frenzy has been spotted. You must be able to provide a quarantine certificate.
The travelers cannot export any objects of wild nature, such as shells, skins, sea shells and corals as well as the items having an artistic and cultural value (without a special permit).
English cooking traditions are predominant in the New Zealand cuisine. Fish and chips is a usual dish in many local eateries. New Zealand is the world meat and milk supplier and this could not but affect the national cuisine. Beef, pork, and mutton are the ingredients for many dishes.
Roast beef, steak and beefsteak are extremely popular among the local people. The chefs can masterly prepare stuffed mutton shoulder and meatloaf with vegetables.
In New Zealand, you will want to try oysters, squids, lobster, sturgeon and such a local specialty as shark meat.
In this country, anyone can try a special type of potato Kumara. This sweetish vegetable is either roasted or baked in the oven.
The New Zealanders prefer to cook seafood, meat and vegetables over open fire. Many appetizers and side dishes include cheese. Cheese in New Zealand is made according to the French technology. We recommend a New Zealand Camembert.
In any eatery, you will be served a traditional meat pie. For a dessert, offer fantastic fruit and cream cakes, fruit pies, pistachio homemade-style ice-cream and English crackers.
The locals like to drink beer and in the pubs, they have their own breweries. Wine-making is rapidly developing now in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the official currency.
One can change the currency at banks, in exchange offices, airport and hotels. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. If you are the holder of American Express, perform all the transactions in the official offices of this company.
Some supermarkets, banks and hotels can cash traveler’s checks. To avoid additional costs, take the checks in US dollars, Australian dollars or sterling pounds.
The state tax 12.5% is included in the price of products and services. There are stores in New Zealand in which tax-free system is available.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in New Zealand
UNESCO inscribed three sites in the World Heritage List:
- The Tongariro National Park in the Manawatu-Wanganui district. This park is a volcanic massif on the North Island. An amazing combination of white mountains and geysers ejecting water several meters up in the air, makes this park very attractive for the tourists who prefer wellness tourism. Anyone can take a picture of three active volcanoes.
- TheWahipounamu district in the southwest part of the South Island includes four national parks: the Mount Cook National Park, the Fiordland National Park, the Mount Aspiring National Park, and the Westland Tai Poutini National Park. This is a sacred place for the indigenous people of New Zealand Maori.
- The tourists will remember a trip to the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands for a long time. The Islands include the Snares Islands, the Bounty Islands, the Auckland Islands, the Antipodes Islands, and the Cambell. Each island has its own unique flora and fauna and a microclimate.
Of course, you cannot but visit the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington is located between the mountains and the sea. The Victoria Peak offers a fantastic view of the city.
The most populated city Auckland is known for its Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Christchurch is the most English city in New Zealand. There is a famous University of Canterbury.
Do not miss a chance to visit the Wairakei Natural Thermal Valley and the Karapiti Cave.
The main sight of the South Island is the Tasman Glacier.
The Steward Island has everything you need for diving and snorkeling.
Souvenirs in New Zealand
New Zealand is a famous producer of products from the opossum fur of high quality. The softness of such products can beat the goods made of cashmere. A sweater from the opossum fur is a useful gift.
Polished silver and blue sea shells Paua are an extremely popular souvenir. Women who take care of themselves will want to buy cosmetics with mineral mud and aglae-based cosmetics. A good gift for a man is genuine crocodile skin keychains, a belt or a wallet.
The amulet of the God Maui will bring prosperity and luck. The authentic souvenir of the indigenous people is a doll Maori made of Kauri tree. The doll will blend naturally both with your home and office interior.
The tourists can buy souvenirs in the stores and souvenir shops in Auckland and Wellington. In Auckland, take a walk along the 3 kilometer Queen Street with many shops and malls.
In the capital city, you will find many shops on the Cuba Street.
Look for crafts in the Coromandel district.